I leaped across the stage, jumping as high as I could with every step, flailing my arms and yes, I probably roared. I'm pretty sure I threw in a karate kick at the end for good measure and was completely thrilled with myself until the ride home, when mom informed me that my ballet career was over. I wasn't going back.
I don't remember being too disappointed. I hadn't really been digging the pink leotards anyway.
I did better with gymnastics a few years later, though the only event I was good at was the vault. I could handle running and jumping off things. The coach kept me off the floor ("she can't even tumble in a straight line"), the uneven bars ("well, she keeps going for the high bar and falling on her face") and especially the balance beam. The coach didn't even need to explain that one. I could climb trees faster and higher than anyone I knew, I could run and somersault off the dock without even a second thought, but I could not handle that balance beam. It was a beast. I would glare up at it while doing crunches with my feet hooked underneath the practice beam for leverage. Stupid beam. I couldn't even do a routine on the practice beam, two inches above the ground.
I didn't have any balance. Or rather, I didn't have the patience to have balance.
Once I realized my hopes of making it on the USA Olympic team were sort of ludicrous, I gave it up. I starred in the elementary school play, found a love for theater and stuck with that. Though I stayed away from musicals. Having to dance in a straight line still wasn't working for me...
I'm still trying. I tend to go big or go home. For example, most people have one dog. I have five (seven in the past). I'm not very good at moderation. But I have to learn how to balance. School starts tomorrow and it's back to the day job. I'm also an editor. I'm also writing my third novel. I also have a book coming out in less than two months. I'm going to do all of these things. And I'm going to do them with my usual take-no-prisoners attitude and I'm going to succeed. (though I may not sleep for six months or so)
I may never be graceful. I may never be a butterfly. But I am going to balance the hell out of the year.
Or at least fall on my face trying.